Community-wide physical activity campaigns

Community-wide physical activity campaigns involve many community sectors, include highly visible, broad-based, multi-component strategies (e.g., social support, risk factor screening or health education) and may address cardiovascular disease risk factors (CG-Physical activity).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Increased physical activity

  • Improved physical fitness

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Improved weight status

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is some evidence that community-wide physical activity campaigns increase physical activity and physical fitness among children and adults (CG-Physical activity, ). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects and determine the characteristics of successful community-wide campaigns ().

Community-wide physical activity campaigns have been shown to increase participant knowledge about exercise and physical activity as well as their intention to be physically active. Such campaigns can also reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CG-Physical activity). A Massachusetts-based study of Shape up Somerville demonstrated that a community-wide campaign can prevent weight gain for children at high risk for obesity (). Collaborative partnerships, a key part of community-wide campaigns, have been shown to facilitate community-wide behavior change and environmental changes ().

Community-wide interventions appear to be cost effective approaches to increasing physical activity (, ). State health departments may be particularly well-positioned to coordinate or support such campaigns (Cousins 2011).

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Examples

Many states have community-based efforts to promote physical activity and behavior change. Examples include ESMM NC, CHAMPS, Shape up Somerville, and Wheeling Walks.

Implementation Resources

ESMM NC-ES Workbook - Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina (ESMM NC). Eat smart workbook.

MA HHS-Mass in motion - Massachusetts Health and Human Services (MA HHS). Mass in motion.

ESMM NC-MM Workbook - Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina (ESMM NC). Move more workbook.

CDC-Increasing physical activity 2011 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strategies to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases: The CDC guide to strategies to increase physical activity in the community. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.

Reger-Nash 2011 - Reger-Nash B, Bauman A, Smith BJ, et al. Organizing an effective community-wide physical activity campaign: A step-by-step guide. Health & Fitness Journal. 2011;15(5):21–7.

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

CG-Physical activity - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Physical activity.

Cochrane-Baker 2011* - Baker P, Francis D, Soares J, Weightman A, Foster C. Community wide interventions for increasing physical activity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011;(4):CD008366.

Lehnert 2012* - Lehnert T, Sonntag D, Konnopka A, Riedel-Heller S, König H-H. The long-term cost-effectiveness of obesity prevention interventions: Systematic literature review. Obesity Reviews. 2012;13(6):537-53.

Roux 2008* - Roux L, Pratt M, Tengs TO, et al. Cost effectiveness of community-based physical activity interventions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2008;35(6):578-88.

Economos 2007* - Economos CD, Hyatt RR, Goldberg JP, et al. A community intervention reduces BMI z-score in children: Shape up Somerville first year results. Obesity. 2007;15(5):1325–36.

Roussos 2000* - Roussos ST, Fawcett SB. A review of collaborative partnerships as a strategy for improving community health. Annual Review of Public Health. 2000;21:369–402.

Cousins 2011 - Cousins JM, Langer SM, Rhew LK, Thomas C. The role of state health departments in supporting community-based obesity prevention. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2011;8(4):A87.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

CHAMPS - Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS).

ESMM NC - Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina (ESMM NC).

Wheeling Walks - Wheeling Walks. Isn't time you started walking?

Shape up Somerville - City of Somerville. Shape up Somerville.

Date Last Updated

Jan 9, 2014